1972 Roberto Clemente Game Worn Uniform-His Very Last
It was called "Nicaragua Amiga 72" (Nicaragua Friends 72), the 20th World Championships of Amateur Baseball. Amateuer teams from around the world participated in the tournament and the team representing the island of Puerto Rico was managed by its favorite son "The Great Roberto Clemente". Fresh off his 18th season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and after collecting his 3,000th and final hit, Clemente not only managed the team of his homeland, but he also captivated the Nicaraguan crowd with his display at the plate and his throws from right field during practices as the crowd cheered "Clemente, Clemente". At the conclusions of the championship which ran from November 16 to December 6, 1972, Roberto Clemente gave away his uniforms as gifts. The black road jersey was given to the President of the Puerto Rican League. Tragically, only 25 days after the championship games, on a mission of mercy back to Nicaragua, Clemente died in a plane crash. The road jersey was then displayed in the Puerto Rican amateur baseball offices. It remained there until 2005 when it was moved to the Puerto Rico Sports Museum in Guaynabo know as "Capital del Deporte" (Capital of the Sport). The home white jersey (which has the flag of Puerto Rico proudly on the front) was given to a radio announcer from Columbia who had befriended Clemente via the league president. The uniform remained in Columbia and was at one time loaned to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The uniform was then sold to the largest collector of Caribbean baseball artifacts who has now consigned it to Lelands.
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